Transmission Fluid Leak: What Is It and How To Fix It?

A transmission fluid leak can be a tricky and frustrating situation to deal with; In this article, we will be discussing several questions that will allow you to be well prepared if this ever happens to you.

What Happens If You Drive With a Transmission Fluid Leak?

Do not panic if you find yourself driving with a transmission fluid leak. Although it is not an extremely dangerous situation to be in, it can cause significant damage to your engine if you continue to drive without seeing a licensed mechanic.

To identify if you have a transmission fluid leak, you will want to keep in mind a few key things:

  • The color will be reddish-brown
  • If it is a newer fluid, it will be thin
  • If it is older fluid, it will be thick

Although driving with a transmission fluid leak is not entirely unsafe, it can lead to catastrophic damage. If there is a small leak that goes untreated for an extended period, it can damage your entire engine, thus causing more work that needs to be done and costing you more money in the end.

Where Can Transmission Fluid Leak From?

Transmission fluid can leak from many different places, so we have compiled a list of the most common areas in which transmission fluid can leak from:

  • Transmission pan gasket – The transmission pan gasket will be the gasket on the transmission pan that is more prone to becoming damaged, especially in extreme heat.
  • Transmission Lines – Transmission lines can be more prone to a transmission fluid leak during the natural wear and tear of the car’s lifespan. Transmission lines play an important role when it comes to being capable of transporting the fluids back and forth between the other parts of the transmission. So if the leak is coming from the transmission lines, that will be major.
  • Seals – If the rubber on the seals wears down, it can cause misalignment of the car, which can cause a transmission fluid leak.

How To Find Transmission Fluid Leaks

If you are concerned that your car may be leaking transmission fluid, it will be best practice to take a few initial steps to determine if your concern is prominent.

First, you would take a dipstick and check the transmission fluid level. The dipstick should come back looking slightly pink or nearly clear.

When you initially remove the dipstick, be sure to wipe it off and then reinsert it and go based on the level and color you see after reinsertion.

3 Reasons Why Transmission Fluids Leak

The reasoning behind why a transmission fluid leak can happen is due to many factors.

As your car operates and is constantly used, it exerts more energy which can cause the transmission lines to become weak and crack.

Another reason behind transmission fluid leaks is going to be the transmission pan gasket.

Even the slightest kink and or crease will cause the seal to become non-compliant, and having jagged metal and rubber matting surface will undoubtedly result in a minor leak.

All cars are made with seals on them to have the capability to lock fluids in place. Over time, however, there will be natural wear and tear and overheating of the car that can weaken the seals.

If the seals become weak because they are the main component that holds fluids in place, they will be more prone to transmission fluid leaks.

Transmission Leak Scenarios

1) Transmission Fluids Leak When Parked

The main culprit of seeing leaked transmission fluid when your car is parked is going to be the deterioration of the transmission pan gasket.

As with the seals, the transmission pan gasket is also used to keep the fluid in. However overtime over the natural lifespan of the car, the transmission pan gasket is going to have some rest Or perhaps have holes that become more prominent due to the debris on the Round, which can cause fluid to leak while your car is parked.

2) Transmission Fluids Leak When Driving

Smashing fluids can leak while driving due to the many factors listed above if there is even a minor crack in the pan gasket that can cause a leak. If the seals have become weak over time, that can also cause a leak. All of the reasons listed above can contribute to leaking transmission fluid while you are driving.

3) Why You’re Losing Transmission Fluid But No Leak Detected

If You are losing transmission fluid but you are not able to see any leak detected, this could be because the fluid is leaving your car while you are driving. In some cases, the cracks in the seal, the cracks in the transmission pan gaskets, or even the cracks in the lines can be so small that it is hard to detect or diagnose, especially if you do not see the puddle of transmission fluid.

4) Why Transmission Fluids Leak from the Front of the Car

If there is a bad connection, whole, or crack in one of the transmission lines, this will cause additional transmission fluid to leak from the front of the car.

How to Stop Transmission Fluid Leak?

The most common way people stop transmission fluid leaks is by investing in a transmission sealant like the one found here.

Blue Devil transmission sealer is one of the most popular brands of sealant and is used to seal off any transmission fluid leaks that may occur.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Leaks?

The typical cost to repair a transmission fluid leak is going to vary greatly. It will vary by which part is specifically causing the leak or which mechanic you choose to go to. However, the common starting point is around $150 to replace a seal and up to $1,000 or more if you need a whole new torque converter.

FAQs

How serious is a transmission fluid leak?

A transmission fluid leak is not something that you want to ignore as it can become extremely serious. Even with the smallest of leaks, If your transmission fluid is leaking, then there will not be enough fluid to run throughout the system, thus causing a lack of lubrication to the rest of the car parts.

There is a reason they say that a car is a “well-oiled machine.” Your car needs to remain lubricated so that it can function properly.

Why is my transmission fluid gushing out?

The most common cause for transmission fluid gushing out is a pan leak.

Can coolant leak into the transmission fluid?

There is a possibility that coolant and or antifreeze can leak into the transmission fluid, and if the mixture of transmission fluid in coolant happens, it can easily seize up your transmission.

How long does it take to fix a transmission fluid leak?

Depending on the severity of your transmission leak and the root cause, the time it takes to fix the leak is going to range anywhere from one day to even three to four days if you need to do an entire transmission rebuild.

Conclusion

Transmission fluid leaks can happen due to a wide range of reasons, such as cracked transmission lines, transmission pan leaks, and weakened seals. If you know that your car is experiencing a leak and you are not sure where it is coming from, be sure to pay close attention to the color as well as the density of the fluid if you can see it on the ground. Having a transmission fluid leak should not be taken lightly, as it can cause a wide range of other issues for your car down the line.

Author: DJ

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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